Fashion and art have always gone hand-in-hand, but a new exhibit is taking this natural coupling one step further. ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion, curated by Vassilis Zidianakis, is the latest showcase to gain international notice and to present some of the industry’s best in a new light.
Timed perfectly, the exhibition speaks to a continuing theme in fashion and pop culture that, until now, has yet to be given this kind of platform. But thanks to the overwhelming success of the Met’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty show—which focuses on the late designer’s persona-driven fashion spectacles and outlandish clothing—character study is quite the hot topic for fashion lovers. Focusing on the influence of media figures on modern fashion, the exhibit examines the ongoing evolution of fashion and beauty as perpetuated through contemporary fashion and costume design. And the roster of top notch labels participating is enough to elicit the pitter-patter of any fashion lover’s heart: Maison Martin Margiela, Jean-Charles De Castelbajac, Issey Miyake and Bernhard Willhelm are only a few of the designers that have created one-of-a-kind pieces for the museum.
For years, clothing and beauty have been used to elevate some of the largest icons of the century. Where would David Bowie be without the androgynous, alien appeal of Ziggy Stardust, or Beyonce without her Sascha Fierce? Arguably, Lady Gaga’s avant-garde costumes are an even larger character than the pop star herself, with hair, makeup and body mutation all sounding off on the idea of persona. Perhaps the most outwardly vocal, Nicki Minaj has stated that she adopts alter egos when dressing up and even raps about her character changes. Her “Monster” track with Kanye West boldy states, “I’m a Muthaf-cking Monster” alluding to her over-the-top personas constantly in the media’s eye.
Presented at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion is set to run from May 15th until July 31st. Zidianakis will also showcase the work at this summer’s Athens Festival 2011.